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Jean Cohen-Solal


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Jean Cohen-Solal Captain Tarthopom  album cover
4.25 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 31% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Captain Tarthopom (3:02)
2- Ludions (4:41)
3- Ab Hoc & Ab Hac (5:20)
4- Intime Panique (2:40)
5- Mémoire D'un Ventricule (10:03)
6- Fossette Surprise (4:41)

Line-up / Musicians

JC Deblais / electric guitar
Leo Petit / El bass
Clkaude Biondi / drums
Sylvain Gaudelette / Martenot waves,
Michel Barre / trumpet,
JL Chevalier / trombone
Charlotte vocals
Jean Cohen-Solal / flute, contrabass, accessories, organ, piano

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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JEAN COHEN-SOLAL Captain Tarthopom ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JEAN COHEN-SOLAL Captain Tarthopom reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Second album from this French avant-garde flutist, with a still-present but much toned-down mysticism, taking a second fiddle behind the humour of a marching band-type of music. Indeed even the title exudes a certain kind of slapstick humour (Capt Applepie), but it is not overpowering and we're nowhere close to a Zappa album in this regard. Although the resulting album might appear more accessible, due to a "rock" format (including drums and electric bass) and shorter songs, the album is just as adventurous as Flutes Libres is.

A grotesque horn is opening the title track, soon joined a strident flute, then a ridiculous organ chord over a cool bass and unsettling drum pattern and ending in chicken cackles, such is my description of the first track of this burlesque Tarthopom album. The following Ludions is a much more accessible (and fun), made by an excellent bass groove over some distant gong banging making a bit of a return to his previous album, Flutes Libres. With Ab Hoc & Ab Hac, JC-S explores a J-S B (Bach) theme with much success and a superb fuzz guitar and an Orgue De Barbarie solo and a musical box ending. The dual Mémoire D'un Ventricule is the album's centrepiece, with the first movement returning to the dark broody mood of Quelqu'Un, the sidelong track of the debut album, while the second is more like a Saucerful-era Floyd with an ethereal female voice accentuating the feeling. The closing pun-intended Fossette Surpise (from Pochette Surprise) starts out as a happy-go-lucky two-flutes thing, before veering Floydish again, faking its ending classical-wise before taking over the original Tarthopom riff again, thus ending the album as it started.

You'll find that the burlesque opening Tarthopom riff comes back now and again throughout the album's course, often in a much less perverse and grotesque manner, linking rather well some songs and sometimes even in the middle of songs (Ludious). JC-S also plays a modified organ, which certainly adds more bizarre as if the album needed more of that. Many songs also include sound effects, from a music box to chickens to filtered human voices and the Ondes Martenot (also used by Harmonium in a couple years' time.

Both albums of J C-S being equally rare and expensive (and excellent, IMHO), MIO records released the two of them on a single disc, so you won't have to choose which one to investigate, although chances are that you'll hear Flutes Libres first since it is first on that Mio release. And in the meantime, it will spare me the difficult task to tell you which album , I prefer

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars First formed in electro acoustic researches and in contemporary improvised music, Jean Cohen Solal delivered two intriguing, very personal albums during the 70's. Today, Flute libres and Captain Tarthopom can be considered as ultimate masterpieces without reaching a specific musical label. These albums are a perfect mix between buzzing sitar-like mantra, weird electronic dream-like psychedelica and jazzy acid rock. Captain Tarthopom starts the cosmic, magical dance with two haunting folkish-epic compositions that include a certain sense of humour and derision (self title). Ludious has a certain mystical aura, a psych- drone-evanescent, free rock composition with gorgeous enchanting flute lines accompanied by a solid jazzy-rock base. Ab Hoc & Ab Hac is a freak out folk song, imposing colourful flute solo lines, luminous organs. It also includes some variations on famous themes. Mémoire D'un Ventricule is the strongest composition, a real acid prog experience featuring abstract, lysergic organ chords, haunting ghostly-like chants and various sound manipulations. It reminds me Philippe Besombes and Igor Wakhevitch at their most sacred, trancey-like electronic moments. Captain Tarthopom is a brilliant, fantastic musical celebration with a handful of original ideas and a very personal, unique fusional approach. Truly recommended! Genius!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Jean Cohen-Solal released two albums, "Flute Libres" in 1971 and this album from 1973. For me it's really a toss-up as to which one I like better. Although I do think the debut shows off his skills with the flute better.

"Captain Tarthopom" opens with church bells before the music comes in and builds including horns, flute and more. It ends with the sounds of chickens and it is pretty funny. "Ludions" is fairly uptempo with bass, a beat and flutes. The flute stops and then fuzz comes in before a minute and it's nasty. That really changes the mood here as it's much darker. The flute does return after 2 minutes with some nice drum work to follow as it picks up. Flute only ends it. "Ab Hoc & Ab Hac" has flute and lots of fuzz early on. Great sound here. The fuzz stops after 2 minutes as the flute leads. The organ comes to the fore. It sounds like vibes to end it.

"Intime Panique" has a beat with flute as horns join in. It becomes really intense late. "Memoire D'un Ventricule" is the longest track at over 10 minutes. This is somewhat haunting with flute and cymbals leading and this section ends around 2 1/2 minutes as drums and atmosphere take over. The beat stops after 4 minutes as it becomes haunting again. The organ becomes the focus here and it's still dark. "Fossette Surprise" opens with piano, a beat and flute leading the way. Silly marching styled drums end it. "Quelqu'un 2003" is eerie as sounds come and go. The mood changes a little a minute in. Violin and flute lead. The intensity lifts 5 minutes in.

I can't say enough about the two albums that this talented man released. If you like adventerous music that can get a little dark at times you really need to check these out.

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